Sunday, March 24, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 Useless Features

Unlike most of the technology news reporters, I have enjoyed Samsung's Galaxy S4 launch event. I liked how they made fun of broadway musicals and laughed out loud when the Chinese guy who wasn't supposed to know English said "I'll be in my locker room if you need me." You can watch the full event in the video below

Having said that, the phone itself is awesome. The Galaxy S4 (not SIV) is the best phone on the planet right now. It has the best hardware features you can get in a mobile phone. The software features, however, are a different story.

It is a good idea to stuff a lot of software features in a device to market it. You can use the features you want and disable the ones you don't want. But what if you don't want all the new features of the S4? You turn them off. And thus you get the Galaxy S4 hardware in Galaxy S3 software.

I can list all the new software gimmicks and give each one a single reason that it will annoy the user, but that will take pages to write. I'll mention only a few:

- S-Pause: pausing a video when you're not looking at it is a great idea. But what if I wanna take a drink of water and don't want it to pause?
- S-Frame: having a picture of my face in the picture I'm taking is a great idea. But what if I don't want to include myself in the shot? By the time I disable it, the Kodak moment might pass.
- Air-flip: waving my hand in the air to go to the next photo. But what if I scratch my neck and it sees my elbow waving around, it will flip to the next photo.
And the list goes on and on.

All I'm saying is that all of these feature are good and useful but may get annoying with time. And the majority of users will never use the majority of features.

The only solution in my point of view is to implement a switch to toggle all these software features on and off. And make that switch easily accessible.

Otherwise I suggest that Samsung would focus its $400 million advertising campaign on the hardware features. Focus on the 5 inch screen and the 8-core CPU Not video pausing. I can't think of any situation where the 8-core CPU feature can be annoying!

Saturday, March 09, 2013 & Kuwait Blogs Are Dead was a blog aggregator. It had four seperate aggregators actually: Kuwait Blogs, Saudi Blogs, Cooking Blogs, and Ubuntu Linux Blogs.

Kuwait Blogs was the most popular site, generating over 4000 visits a day. For a trip down memory lane and to see the site again you can visit the Web Archive.

Tomotiki was forcefully closed by a takedown action. I could've contested the action and reopened it in less than a day (by mentioning that its an RSS reader) but I decided not to reopen it.

The reasons Tomotiki will remain closed are the following:

The main reason is the nudity and semi nudity which appears through the many blogs that are indexed, along with all the religious and political views that may or may not contradict with what I believe in.

Secondly, even though many bloggers email me daily to add their blogs to the website (it generates traffic to their blogs), I have had some complaints (and public threats and takedown actions), that I illegally steal other people's content. Obviously those people never heard of Google Reader or RSS.

The third reason is that the technology I use (which is basically WordPress with RSS plug-ins), is not suitable to handle as many blogs as I needed (I index of 100s of blogs).

That's why I have forwarded the domain to my blog.

I apologize if I didn't add your blog in time. I also apologize if you are used to read the blogs on Tomotiki and found that it disappeared. I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.

Moving forward, I hope to find a solution for the main three points above. Namely, filter unwanted extreme posts, make sure all blogs are indexed with the approval/request of their owners, find a better platform to manage the aggregation process.

In the mean time I hope I can find a way to use google reader (or any web RSS reader) to index the list of blogs previously available on Tomotiki.

The lesson i learned from this project: The technology is ready but the people are not.